Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Past And Present

Kate and I were stretched out on her couch, the tv playing in the background.  Neither of us were really paying attention to the show, we were too busy talking, laughing and reminiscing.  It would be my last night staying with Kate.  By this time the following night, I'd be curled up in my own bed in my own apartment.  I couldn't wait.  I finally felt like pieces of my life were falling into place.  Work was going surprisingly well, I hadn't heard a peep from Michael, Eric and I had decided to see each other exclusively and I'd be in my own place preparing for the baby to come.  I'd been adding quite a few things to my Amazon wish list to keep track of what I wanted and needed to prepare.  Holly had offered to host a baby shower at her place the following month.  She's quite the hostess, I'm really looking forward to it!

"Oh man, remember those disgusting cookies we made at Ashley's?  The boys tried so hard to be nice and pretend they liked them!" Kate laughed.

She was referring to a slumber party we'd had in high school.  For some reason, we had come up with the idea to make the most terrible cookies possible and deliver them to Ashley's boyfriend, David, and a few of our mutual guy friends.  We'd added soy sauce, Diet Coke, salt and a few other random ingredients.  The cookies looked totally fine (we threw in chocolate chips, too!) but the taste was just horrendous.  It was not uncommon for Ashley to bring baked goods to school or get-togethers so they boys were totally unsuspecting.  It was the funniest thing watching them try not to make faces, while feigning enthusiasm and enjoyment.  I can't remember who cracked first, me or Kate, but once the laughter started, we were all in hysterics.

The boys took our little prank in stride and got us back at a future date.  We were having yet another slumber party at Ashley's, and they'd snuck into the yard.  They did little things like tap lightly at the window and rustle about in the yard.  We never spotted them and the sounds died down.  Around 3am, though, one of them used a deer caller and it made the strangest, most terrifying sound while one of the boys pounded on the window with a mask on.  We all screamed and ran for Ashley's parents room, nearly sobbing and insisting there was a murderer trying to get us.  Her folks were in on it, though, and scared us some more!

Thinking back on those times was fun.  High school wasn't that long ago, really, but life just seemed so much more carefree and innocent then.  Kate and I talked some more about the antics we'd gotten up to in our past.  I reminded her of the first New Year's Eve we had spent at our first apartment.  We were 18, then, and although I'm not much of a drinker in recent years, I did drink on occasion during that time.  Kate's older sister would buy us booze so we could have a little fun.

We had gotten tipsy in our apartment and came up with the brilliant idea to wander around our apartment complex in the dark, looking for a party to crash.  We came upon one apartment with loud music that sounded like a party, so we mustered up the courage to knock.  A gangsta looking guy opened the door looking menacing, but visibly relaxed when he saw it was just two young girls with a stupid idea.  Their apartment was full of people and we heard someone yell, "We thought you was the cops!"

One of the female party-goers dubbed us "those crazy white girls" and insisted we take pictures with them.  It was fun, but looking back it could've gone very poorly for us if we'd knocked on the wrong door.  On our trek back to our building, we ran into a few guys around our age that we'd seen around the complex before, and they invited us back to their place for some beers.  I dozed off on the couch while Kate hooked up with one of them and the other two guys had gone to bed.  I remember waking up, slightly drunk and disoriented and feeling the urge that I needed to rush home.  I stumbled outside, it was still dark and freezing but a weird fog had settled.  I sprinted home with thoughts of Jack the Ripper and werewolves plaguing my mind.  It was only when I got back inside that I remembered I'd left Kate behind!  I ran the whole way back, still fearful, and dragged Kate out of bed.  Together, we raced back to our place, screaming with laughter about the night's events.

Kate and I laughed some more about stupid things we've done, dumb fights we had and good times in our lives.  Eventually, the conversation turned to current times and she brought up her not-quite-date with Jack.

"It was kinda weird, actually.  He was really quiet and seemed like he was lost in his own head the whole time.  We did make plans to go out again, though, so maybe he was nervous?  We made out in his car, so I guess that's a good sign?" we dissected the date further and I agreed with Kate that he may have been nervous.  Now that it was out in the open that they 'liked' each other, he could be feeling vulnerable.  I reassured her that their next outing was actually labeled a date, so that was a good sign.

We talked some more about Eric.  Kate was hard to read when I announced that Eric had suggested we make things exclusive between us.  I've been seeing him exclusively for quite some time, but I'm unsure if he's gone on other dates with different women.  At least now the framework is in place.

"Sooo, he's your boyfriend now?" she raised her eyebrows.

"Well, no.  But I'm assuming that's the next step.  We've agreed that neither of us want to date anyone else.  It's not like a serious relationship or anything.  It's not Facebook official!" I laughed.  It seems like everyone these days treats Facebook as the word of god or something.  Like, a relationship isn't real until it has been confirmed on Facebook.  It's weird, but that's modern culture now, I guess.

"Does that mean you won't be seeing Rob anymore?" Kate inquired, tilting her head.

"Huh?  I've told you, Rob's my friend.  We were never dating."

"Yeah, but you like, cooked him breakfast and hung out at his house and you guys have gone out for food together.  That's basically dating to most people!"

"You and Dale do that stuff all the time!  You guys aren't dating!"

"Yeah, but we've known each other for a long time and used to hang out in groups before we started hanging out with just each other."

"What does length of time have to do with anything, though?  Rob isn't into me, I'm not into him.  There's no weird sexual tension or anything." I was feeling somewhat exasperated.  Kate and I have already talked about my friendship with Rob, so why was she bringing it up again?

"Emma, don't be like that," she soothed, "I know he's your friend, but how will Eric feel about it?  I mean, wouldn't you be a little weirded out if he had a female friend he hung out with all the time?"

I thought it over for a bit.  I hadn't considered that.  I guess I hadn't considered how Eric would feel at all.  I assured Kate that I'd discuss it with Eric when appropriate, but I wasn't cutting off my friendship with Rob.  Only controlling people make you end a healthy, normal friendship with someone.  It's one thing to convince someone not to hang out with a person who is destructive or toxic to them and entirely another thing to make someone stop hanging out with someone purely because of the genitalia they were born with.  I shook my head, indicating I was no longer interested in this path of conversation.

Soon we were turning in for the night.  I had to be up super early (for me) to sign the remaining lease paperwork, pick up my keys and wait for the movers.


"Ah, you guys are awesome!" I exclaimed, feeling tears of happiness welling up.  Kate, Rob and Dale had surprised me by moving all of my things out of Kate's and trekking it across the courtyard to my new place. I didn't have very much, but the fact that they did this all for me was very touching.  I insisted upon picking up a few six packs for them to enjoy and some pizza for dinner.  So far, my new couch and small dining set had been delivered so there were plenty of places for them to sit and hang out.  I was only waiting on my bed to arrive.  Of course, the furniture place gives you a broad window for delivery and insists you must be there right when they arrive or you're shit outta luck.

Dale surprised me with some cookware and brand new dishes!  He even gifted me with a beautiful cast iron skillet that his mom no longer had use for.  It was already perfectly seasoned, and I thanked him profusely.  I had a few essentials but nothing like that.  The dish set was very simple and lovely.  I guess he'd paid attention to Kate when I lamented that Michael had kept our dishes I'd loved so much.

Kate helped me start unpacking my toiletries and beauty products.  I always feel so much more comfortable in a new place once the bathroom is set up.  I don't know why, but once the bathroom is finished, I feel more at home.  We finished up and moved on to the kitchen.  I loaded up the dishwasher (another Emma quirk, I loved unloading the dishwasher and putting away the dishes when I'm in a new place.  It feels more like the home is established instead of being moved into).

I practically squealed with joy when my bed arrived!  The movers set it up and I immediately made the bed with my freshly washed sheets and comforter.  The apartment was already starting to look like a home, especially thanks to my friends.

We spent the late afternoon eating pizza and hanging out.  Kate had to work at the club,and ducked out after giving me a huge hug and kiss on the cheek.  Dale left with her, leaving just me and Rob.  He offered to leave so I could enjoy my new space, but I insisted he stay for a bit.

We relaxed for a little while, Rob sipping on a beer while we chatted.  It felt so liberating to be in my very own place.  I'd never lived without a roommate before and looked forward to it.  Rob had to leave to meet up with some friends of his for the night.  I thanked him again, joking that he's my knight in shining armor, always there when I'm in need.  I stepped out on my balcony and watched with a smile as he strolled across the courtyard back to his apartment.  I smiled even more broadly when I realized I could perfectly see his place and Kate's from my balcony.  I could totally picture Kate and I talking on the phone while sitting on our respective balconies and looking at each other.

That night, as I settled in to the middle of my huge, comfortable bed, I thanked the universe for gifting me with such wonderful friends.


  1. Oh no. I hope this is not a preminition of things to come. I LOVE Rob and I hope Eric is cool about thier friendship. I loved that I got to see Kate in a different light in this post.

    1. I thought it was about time I showed Kate in a better light. Lately, Emma has been all about complaining about the bad tendencies Kate has instead of praising Kate for being a true friend to her. You'll get to hear more about both Rob and Eric soon!

  2. Wait, I am confused. I thought Emma was pregnant, but she got drunk with Katie?

    1. Emma IS pregnant. Her and Kate were reminiscing about their "younger" days not drinking. The first paragraph should clear that up.

    2. ohhh, got it, thanks for the clarification!

  3. Apologies if the post was unclear! Kate and Emma were talking about the good ol' days of youth and bad decisions :)